Paul Garrido - 99x134

“Your sound advice endures: ‘not what’s in it for me… not what I can get out of you… rather, what can I contribute… what can I offer of value… and pass on?’ and lives on…”

~ Paul Garrido, Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Andrew Bucklee - 99x134

“I first met Jim Blackburn at one of his executive retreats and was immediately impressed by his provocative conversations and keen insight. Jim has unique abilities that set him apart from other consultants with whom I’ve worked. Metaphorically, he’s able to hear what’s not being said, as well as has an uncanny ability to uncover and clarify the root causes of much of an organization’s internal relationship dysfunctions. I would also add that Jim is not for everyone. The person who can best utilize Jim’s counsel must be capable of introspection and self-examination, as well as be willing to change certain beliefs and behaviors that have served them well over years past.”

~ Andy Bucklee, Senior VP, Head of Insuance Solutions Distribution, Lincoln Financial Distributors

Bo Blackburn Linked In 99x134

“I’ve started a new career in a very fast paced, high anxiety, high turnover and difficult profession; I’ve been having short conversations on a daily basis with Jim for the last 18 months.  Through direct and indirect conversations, Jim has helped me recognize personal traits that have been holding me back personally and professionally, while giving me the confidence to make the appropriate adjustments.  In a very short time, I’ve been making simple modifications to my daily routine and thought processes that have led me to professional fulfillment and achievements that I never thought were possible.  His ability to get you thinking differently has helped me be more effective, present, and impactful; all while working with less stress, struggle, and worry.  Jim is a life-line for me personally and professionally.”  

~ Bo Blackburn, Financial Representative, Northwestern Mutual



“I worked with Jim over a decade ago. Of any consultant or coach I’ve ever worked with, Jim helped me establish a foundation that’s helped with every phase of our journey. I’ve heard other people tell me about things they’ve learned from me that’s influenced their career and many of those were lessons I absorbed from Jim. If you want to explore what’s possible and how much impact you can make, I’d suggest investing some time with Mr. Blackburn. If you’re roots are strong, you’ll always be harvesting success.”

~ Gary Miller, President, Miller Resource Group


“I want to thank Jim Blackburn for his guidance in my professional and personal life. Jim helped me tremendously by listening to my concerns and providing valuable suggestions about my struggles with our family farm. His insight provided me how to better work with family and how to make people within the family more accountable in the business. This wisdom from Jim has given me a degree of peace and understanding that has helped me to make important management decisions. In addition on a professional level, Jim was hired in a consultants role to help a top-level manager that reported to me. As a result of his work, the performance of the manager improved significantly. In addition, his work improved the performance of 2 key junior managers. I would highly recommend Jim both professionally and personally. He has contributed significantly to helping improve the culture in our organization, and he assisted me personally with developing a successful path for our family business. I am forever grateful for having Jim Blackburn in my life.”

~ Felton Wooten, Elderly Healthcare Consultant and Author, Wooten & Associates


“The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics would like to thank Jim Blackburn from SURVE Partners. SURVE Partners provided the necessary consulting and one-on-one challenging and opinion-shaping conversations regarding our department’s short and long-term growth initiatives, opportunities and challenges. SURVE Partners assisted the department as our ‘learning facilitators’ in developing our Mission, Vision and Purpose, which is ‘preparing our student-athletes for excellence in life’. The relationship between our department and SURVE Partners was successful because the department took the initiative to break from our “familiar” while reaching for the “unfamiliar” in today’s work environment. We learned that new knowledge does not cause change, but rather change happens as a result of new thoughts that lead to new beliefs which result in new behaviors.”

~ Chris King, Director of Athletics, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Laura Waller 99x134

“I have known Jim my entire professional career, and he has facilitated my growth throughout. When we have worked together on projects for mutual clients, he added value by guiding people in creating healthy relationships. He leads by example and has never stopped learning. The best part is that he doesn’t keep what he learns to himself, generously sharing his life lessons with others. And the focus is always on the client, not himself. Working with him, you will find yourself, your company, your family, and your WORLD moving to new, higher levels of impact.”

~ Laura Waller, VP, Trust Business Development at WesBanco

Chuck Banker 99x134

“Jim has had a major impact on my life, in and out of the office. He has a gift that is difficult to put into words, the ability to put one at ease no matter the circumstance, the ability to put things into perspective, and, most importantly, the ability to communicate in a manner that is nothing short of brilliant. Jim has been a godsend to me, helping me with my relationships at home and at work and helping me to accept my shortcomings. He has also enabled me to reduce the stress associated with my roles as a husband, a father, and sales professional. I cannot possibly thank him enough for his guidance, sincerity, and friendship.”

~ Chuck Banker, Private Bank Wealth Planning Specialist, Merrill Lynch

Kimberly Small 99x134

“I used to think that leadership was all about power, money and titles.  Jim helped me to see that leadership is really about contributing to the growth and success of others, and that these are the things that are sustainable in a business, and in life.  Jim has had a tremendous impact on my personal and professional growth and he has helped me realize that the talents and gifts that are innate within me are ones that can assist me in making a difference in someone else’s life.”

~ Kimberly Small, Certified Financial Planner

Morrie Shechtman 99x134

“I’ve known Jim for over two decades and have worked with him as a colleague, and witnessed his evolution into a first class professional. He is not simply a superb consultant; he is a consummate advisor and confidante whose work with his clients requires them to continually grow and learn. Jim believes that people are inherently capable and can always become, and do more, and he practices what he preaches. He is, and always has been, a lifelong learner, and ‘seeds of Intent’ is a testament to his commitment to learning, growing and self-development.”

~ Morrie Shechtman, Chairman, Fifth Wave Leadership

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“Jim helped me see the difference between multitasking things and multitasking people. Being fully present with a other people creates immeasurable value in the relationship.”

~ Susan Nastasi, Regional Sales Director at Met Life

Jonathan Holifield 99x134

“I have worked with Jim over the past two years and it is rare to find a coach / adviser who recognizes and deeply understands how healthy relationships, or lack thereof, impact organizational environments and system dynamics. Jim’s focus on healthy relationships and personal growth helps to reconnect you to what you really care about and then build those considerations into your organization’s mission, vision, and strategy. Jim is especially skilled at employing the clarifying questions tool to gain deeper insight into basic and complex assumptions under which you may be working and encourages them to be challenged.”

~ Jonathan Holifield, Co-Founder, UpScale Partners, LLC

Melissa Cox 99x134

“I choose who or how I want to be and then make choices in what I do to reflect it. Changing my focus from the things in life that I cannot control to the people I meet and how I can help them has completely realigned my practice and provided me with huge personal growth.”

~ Melissa Cox, National Sales Director – Met Life

Scott Schumacker 99x134

“If you are continuing down a path of self-discovery and growth both personally and professionally, you will want to get to know Jim Blackburn and SURVE. His teachings and concepts have allowed our firm to reinvent itself to become more effective and creative in all areas of our internal/external relationships and business. Jim has offered some very insightful viewpoints to promote the value of our people and our customers through open dialogue and continues feedback loops on the impact we are making with our customers to help them grow their business. If you wish to succeed in the business reality of a hyper-competitive global society, Jim and his SURVE teachings will help make a difference to the success and growth of you, your people and your firm!”

~ Scott Schumacker, Account Executive at Great Lakes Publishing

Rebecca Bagley 99x134

“Testimonial coming soon”

~ Rebecca Bagley, Vice Chancellor, Economic Partnerships at the University of Pittsburgh

James Hedderman 99x134

“I have had the pleasure of working with Jim for a couple of years now and have enjoyed his approach to helping me realize how much more I’m capable of when I can identify my own blockers from progress, the amazing abilities of my team to be creative, innovative, and collaborative, and the ability to let go of the old / comfortable way of doing things and embrace the change that is waiting for me. Working with Jim and my colleagues at True Partners, I am transforming from a person that focused on successfully completing tasks to transforming my life and as well as my clients’ lives. Jim helped me see how much more I’m capable of when I can identify my own blockers as well as helped me let go of the old / comfortable way of doing things that were no longer working for me. Because of Jim, I am transforming from a person that focused on successfully completing tasks to a person focused on transforming the lives of the people I serve.”

~ Jim Hedderman, Director – True Partners Consulting

gary beu

“Jim isn’t just a teacher with a theory in a three-ring binder. He’s a coach skilled in the use of a one-way mirror – helping people see the honest reflection of who they are and how others view them to be, and holding them accountable for reconciling the differences that impede effectiveness in life and work.”

~ Gary Beu , Managing Director – West Monroe Partners

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“When I first began working with Jim, I quickly developed a way of relating with him that was not typical in my work with other consultants. Jim has helped me to be the type of leader I’ve always wanted to be. I now approach decision-making–both personally and professionally through different, more thoughtful ways due to Jim’s unique counseling processes. Additionally, I have experienced a greater effectiveness in the way I work with, and relate to, other staff. And I have been asked by several people to serve as their formal mentor, which I believe is direct reflection of the influence power I have gained through my work with Jim.”

~ Gary Gaeth – Professor of Marketing, Henry B. Tippie School of Mgmt, U. of Iowa

Todd Scott 99x134

“Life is great. Jim made me step back and think everything in life happens for a reason and sometimes you cannot be all to everyone. The SURVE Experience is incredible. I used to carry a lot of stress and I now have less stress in my life. Others have really noticed that I stop and think first before reacting. I have learned to listen, be positive and use this new mindset to impact my peers. I used to carry a lot of stress and I now have less stress in my life. Others have really noticed that I stop and think first before reacting. I have learned to listen, be positive and use this new mindset to impact my peers.”

~ Todd Scott – VP, Merrill Lynch

Steven Schlensky 99x134

“Jim is a positive confrontational force committed to accomplishing goals that will lead to desired results.  His integrity is outstanding and he will not accept excuses even if it is against his self-interest.  His approach is refreshingly simple but effective.”

~ Steven Schlensky, Managing Director of Family Office

“What I have learned about change and the power of respect both for others and for myself is priceless and will make my next venture more successful. For the latter, and for my ability to find gratitude in even the ugliest of moments, I can only thank you.”

~ Holly Hughes, Data Steward, Park Place Technologies

Andy Carroll 99x134

“Thru our discussions, you have helped me realize that I am a leader and am now open to becoming even more. I am now open to adding value to others and being a river not a reservoir. I know that I can now become more and grow into a bigger influencer. I cannot thank you enough.”

~ Andy Carroll – Sales Executive, BCBS of Florida